How to Choose a DJ Name? 11 Powerful Tips on Picking a DJ Name

How to Choose a DJ Name Guide
How to Choose a DJ Name Guide
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How to Choose a DJ Name

Having a DJ name that is both memorable and unique is important, right?

If you are an aspiring DJs just starting out, or a seasoned DJ looking to rebrand, chances are that you understand that your chosen DJ name can have a significant impact on your brand and, by extension, career.

Selecting a DJ name can be daunting, as it is a decision that is ‘somewhat’ set in stone. With that said, choosing a DJ name can be an exciting and rewarding exercise that can set you up for future success in the industry.

In this article, we will be diving deeper into choosing a DJ name, as well as exploring tips and tricks to use when choosing your DJ name.


The importance of choosing a good DJ name

Your DJ name is the first impression that you make on your audience.

Often this is a representation of your sound, style, and almost an extension of a personality. A smart DJ knows that their name is their brand, and for that reason it should be memorable and catchy, making it easy for their fans to remember them.

An eye-catching (or ear-catching) DJ name will help elevate you and make you stand out in the competitive industry. Creating a unique identity needs to separate you from all the other DJs and artists.


The benefits of a memorable DJ name

A memorable DJ name can do wonders in helping you build your brand, increasing your recognition among future fans and industry peers.

If those who advocate for you and your style can remember your DJ name easier, they have a higher chance at spreading your name amongst the crowd. This type of psychological process can really help in getting exposure and more gig and collaboration opportunities.

Finally, a memorable DJ name will most likely help you build a loyal following, creating a sense of connection with your fans.


Considerations when choosing a DJ name/alias

When choosing a new or replacement DJ name, there are some considerations we highly recommend. We will dive into more detail in the article, but as a starting point:


Difficulty

Ideally, your name should be easy to remember AND pronounce. If you start complicating things with hard-to-pronounce words or phrases, chances are that this will negatively impact your potential audience (even if it’s subconsciously)

Language

Similar to the word difficulty point above, consider a DJ name that is written/spoken in English. This isn’t a hard requirement, but with English language stretching across the globe, it will be easier to gain recognition throughout a global fanbase that have a basic understanding of English characters.

Length

There’s no sweet spot in the length of your chosen DJ name, but keep in mind that in most cases, less in more. Keeping your name short and simple and avoiding long, complicated names will help you be more memorable in the bigger picture.

Relevance

If you want to choose a DJ name that reflects your style and genre, ensure that it at least matches and is not misleading. For example, if you decide this route and play hard techno music, you may want to use a word that resonates with a particular element in that genre, such as the tempo, timbre or sounds. 

Uniqueness

Seems obvious, but your name should be unique and not already taken by another artist, otherwise you could face copyright issues. Even if you think a slight variation of an already existing name works, chances are it’ll be an uphill battle to gain unique recognition without being mixed up or overlooked. 


Using your real name vs an alias

Some DJs use their real name, whilst others use an alias.

Using your real name creates a sense of authenticity and transparency, whilst an alias can create a sense of mystery and intrigue. There’s no denying that using an alias provides a level of anonymity that gives you more freedom to express through a creative choice of words, but you also have the ability to be more personable when using your real name.

It’s important to note that there is also a blended option, where you can use a ‘fake’ real name, also referred to as a pseudonym, for your DJ name (Such as Calvin Harris who’s real name is Adam Richard Wiles).


10 Tips on How to Pick an Effective DJ Name

Choosing a DJ name is an essential part of your journey as a DJ.

It’s important to take the time to select an alias that reflects your style and personality, while also being impactful and ideally, catchy.

This is a process that often does not need to be rushed, and hopefully by following these 11 tips, you will be in a much better position to choose your DJ name and begin your voyage into the industry. 


Choose a DJ Name - 11 Tips to get started

1. Use a Pseudonym (fake name)

A pseudonym is simply a fictitious name.

It can be just about anything you want it to be (obviously, it’s a made-up name).  If you decide to use a pseudonym as your DJ name, the possibilities are endless. You can create a unique identity that’s different from your real name and reflects your style and personality. 

The best part is that there are many tools and resources available to help you get inspired. One option is to use a stage name generator, a tool allows you to generate endless amounts of names and variations. You can also check out master lists of generated names. 

If you’re looking for a more random approach, you can also try using a fake name generator. This tool generates a completely fictitious name, complete with a fake address, phone number, and other details.


Choose a DJ Name - 11 Tips to get started

2. Shorten or Fuse your Name(s)

Shortening or fusing your name is a solid option for creating a memorable DJ name.

This approach can be an effective way to create a name that’s personal and unique to you, but is still easy for your future fanbase to remember.

You can take one of your names and shorten it to create a catchy name. Alternatively, you could combine your first and last names to create a new name that’s entirely your own. If you have a longer name, you could also use just your initials or syllables from your names.

As we mentioned in the considerations section earlier, If you do go down this route, make sure that your new chosen DJ name is easy to spell and pronounce for your future fanbase. 


3. Make a Word up

Making up a word can be a solid option when trying to create a unique DJ name that’s easy to remember and sounds catchy.

The beauty of this approach is that you can create a word that sounds like a real word but has a completely made-up meaning. 

Experiment with combining different sounds or syllables until you find something that sounds interesting. Try using free tools such as word combiners to help you with this process. You could also try modifying an existing word by changing up the letters.

A couple of famous examples of DJs who took this approach are US-born Skrillex (Sonny Moore) and Swedish jewel Avicii (Tim Bergling). 



4. Use Catchy-sounding Acronyms  

Another popular method for creating a unique DJ name is to use acronyms.

This technique is especially common in the electronic music industry, where DJs often like to create an air of mystery around their persona.

When choosing an acronym, you can use your own initials or choose something completely random to create an acronym that represents your unique style. When choosing an acronym, it’s important to consider how it will look visually and how it will sound when spoken aloud. 

As well as acronyms, there are some DJ names that share similarities to acronyms but are in fact capitalized words with certain letters removed (such as MATTN and SBTRKT).


5. Merge Different Nouns Together

Merging different nouns together is another surefire way to create a new DJ name.

This involves taking two or more words and combining them to create a unique alias. To start, brainstorm a list of words that resonate with you, perhaps it’s reflective of your preferred music style or your personality, or in fact just sounds catchy.

Once you have that list, start experimenting with different combinations using a free word combining tool until you find a name that feels right.

One of our favorite examples of this is Knife Party, a project founded by former members of the legendary DnB group Pendulum. Despite their name not necessarily making much sense at first glance, the word ‘Knife’ implies sharp sounds (which matches their electronic synth-esque sounds) and ‘Party’ implies music is involved.

We believe the key to success with this approach is to choose words that are both descriptive and catchy. Consider using a power word that invokes a certain emotion or mood when reading it, this way you’ll be more memorable to your listeners.


DJ Name Tips and Tricks

6. Get Creative and Humorous

One of our favorite methods, and it is especially effective for those aspiring DJs who have a good sense of humor and/or a taste for creativity.

If this sounds like you, consider leveraging those traits into the process of choosing your desired DJ name. Again, you can start by brainstorming individual words, or look for particular phrases that stand out to you.

Another good starting point is looking at idioms, but keep in mind that these are often localized by culture or countries, so others may not understand a particular reference.

A couple of our favorite examples of this method being used are the UK-based electronic DJs, Barry Can’t Swim (real name Joshua Mannie) and Eats Everything (real name Daniel Pearce). 

A smart or funny name can be a great way to stand out from the crowd and create an eye-catching brand. With that said, when going down the route of a creative or humorous DJ name, keep in mind to strike the right balance between being funny and being professional.


7. Consider Popular Cultural References

Similar to the point above when incorporating humor or creativity into your DJ name process, you can also consider using popular culture reference(s).

This approach aims to resonate with your listeners from a different angle, and makes you more memorable because of their understanding of that particular reference. This could be anything from a food and beverage, to a particular film or TV reference to a historic figure.

Our favorite example of a DJ who used a popular TV cultural reference as their DJ name alias is Ross from Friends (no, not David Schwimmer, but in fact the UK born electronic artist Felix Weatherall). Chances are the listener has at least heard of the classic TV series phenomena Friends and makes an instant connection, leaving a lasting memory. 

Similar to our previous point, it’s important to make sure you don’t go too niche, as going with a super localized reference could not only confuse a certain portion of your future fanbase, but potentially alienate them. 


Choosing a DJ name - 11 Powerful Tips

8. Go Abstract

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may want to consider using an abstract approach when choosing your DJ name.

This is probably the most open ended option for new DJs, as abstract names don’t have any obvious meaning and are usually quite hard to define. 

You could use a single abstract word, or perhaps a combination of words that have no meaningful connection to one another. This approach is a solid way to stand out from other DJs whilst creating a mystery around your stage persona.

Some of our hand picked examples of abstract stage DJ names are Aphex Twin, Agents of Time and slowthai, all carry little meaning but make enough sense to be memorable whilst keeping their uniqueness.


Choosing a DJ name - 11 Powerful Tips

9. Draw Inspiration from Something Personal

Another way to come up with a DJ name is to draw inspiration from something personal.

Think about your non musical passions, hobbies, or personal experiences from your life that could be shaped into your DJ alias. Again this is an open-ended option, and really comes down to the individual who’s choosing their DJ name.

By going down the route of using something personal in your DJ name, you create a name that not only sounds unique but also has a special meaning to you. This may even help your connection with your fans by giving them a glimpse into your personality.


10. Play with Synonyms 

Whilst not necessarily a stand alone solution, using synonyms can be applied to most of the tips in this article and can be a playful way to add a unique twist to a common word or even phrase.

Playing with synonyms can give your name a particular edge or additional emotion depending on how it’s used. 

An obvious example here is the word “sound”, which when feeding it through a synonym generator gives us words such as “melody”, “noise” and “tone”. Take some time to create a long list of words you want to associate with, then generate alternative words for them. You may be surprised with the combinations you come up with

Just keep in mind to choose words that have some meaning or representation of the persona you’re looking to create (unless you’re going down the abstract route).


11. Use Numbers

For the more adventurous souls, the use of numbers in a DJ name can add an extra dimension of mystery and uniqueness.

The possibilities with numbers are endless, as numbers can replace certain characters, have particular cultural references, have a personal connection or be completely random.

Some examples of numbers being used in DJ names are Canadian born Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman), US-based artist Lane 8 (Daniel Goldstein) and 3LAU (Justin Blau).

Keep in mind that using too many numbers, whether as a substitution to characters or as name additions may be too long or difficult to remember. So our best advice if you want to go down this path would be to keep it simple and snappy.


Choosing a DJ name - 11 Powerful Tips

Summary: 11 Effective Tips on Choosing a DJ Name

So, there you have it, 11 powerful tips to use when choosing your DJ name.

Picking the right DJ name is an important step in establishing yourself as an artist. To summarize, here are all 11 tips in a TLDR format:


  1. Use a Pseudonym (fake name): Create a made-up, fictitious name.
  2. Shorten or Fuse your Name(s): Consider shortening your real name or fusing multiple names together.
  3. Make a Word up: Combine random words to make a unique name.
  4. Use Catchy-sounding Acronyms: Create a name using the initials of your real name or something completely at random.
  5. Merge Different Nouns Together: Combine two unrelated words to create a unique name.
  6. Get Creative and Humorous: Incorporate humor or a play on words into your name.
  7. Consider Cultural References: Use cultural references that are meaningful to you or your music.
  8. Go Abstract: Choose a name that doesn’t have a clear meaning or association.
  9. Draw Inspiration from Something Personal: Use personal experiences or stories to inspire your name.
  10. Play with Synonyms: Consider using synonyms for words that relate to music or your personal style.
  11. Use Numbers: Incorporate numbers into your name for a unique touch.

Just remember, it’s important to pick something that is memorable, easy to pronounce, and represents you and your music when making your decision. Take the time to explore different options and find a DJ name that feels authentic to you.


If you’re just getting started as DJ looking to embark on their creative journey, picking the right identity for yourself is only part of the wider puzzle. Learn how to DJ as a beginner to set yourself up for the best possible start, and once you’re feeling confident, make sure to push and challenge yourself with even more DJ tips and tricks.


[BONUS] What to do After Finding a Potential DJ Name?

Once you have settled on a possible DJ name to brand yourself with, the next steps outlined in this section will determine whether the name is suitable and has the potential to be your final alias.

It’s common that you may come up with a name that resonates with you but isn’t available or it is not unique enough to use. Don’t worry if this happens, it’s all part of the process. 


1. Search the web for your chosen DJ name

Firstly, it’s crucial to search Google for your chosen DJ name to see if it is already being used by someone else.

You may also come across a name that is very similar which could also cause you headaches down the line especially if it’s the name of another DJ. This step can prevent both potential legal issues and confusion for your future fanbase.


2. Search socials for your chosen DJ name

Next up, take a moment to search popular social media platforms for your chosen DJ name to see what handles are available for you to use.

The obvious platforms to check are Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter, but it’s also worth giving Spotify and other major music source platforms


3. Search all the relevant DJ platforms

To conclude the researching part of this section, run the DJ name through popular platforms that DJs and artists use to showcase and distribute on.

Places such as Beatport, Resident Advisor, Youtube and MixCloud are great ones to start when searching for any potential clashes.


4. Check if a domain is available for your name

Now it’s time to secure some digital real estate for your future DJ brand.

Firstly, check if a domain is available for your chosen DJ name, ideally with a “.com” extension, as this is the most widely adopted and trusted domain extension. Although you may not do anything with this for now, it will be useful when you plan on creating a website or blog to promote yourself.


5. Reserve ALL social media account handles

Lastly, take some time to reserve social media account handles for your DJ name on as many platforms as possible, even if you are not planning to use them right away.

Although to begin with you may only use a couple of social platforms to promote yourself (which is a strategy we would recommend), securing these handles will prevent anyone else from taking them and prevent headaches down the line.


Conclusion on How to Choose a DJ Name + FAQs

There’s no denying that choosing a DJ name is a crucial step in building your DJ identity.

A solid name will help you stand out in a crowded industry and create a lasting impression on your audience. All of the tips discussed in this article should be used as a foundation for your journey in selecting your DJ name, a name that should be unique and memorable. 

Remember, finding a potential DJ name is only half of the work. To complete the process, do your due diligence and check for any potential name clashes. Once that’s all clear, begin reserving that digital real estate associated with your new DJ name.


How important is a DJ name?

We would argue a DJ name is very important as it serves as your identity and brand.

It’s often the first element that people will associate you with and remember. A creative DJ name can help you stand out in a cutthroat industry and leave a lasting impression.


Can a DJ have more than 1 name?

Whilst it’s not common that DJs use different names in the same genre or style, using different DJ aliases is common when a DJ wants to explore other styles, genres or personas.

For example, renowned house music DJ Oliver Heldens uses his alias HI-LO when producing and performing techno music. With that said, it’s important to have a clear distinction between the different aliases with their branding to avoid confusion among listeners.


Should I use my real name as my DJ name?

It really depends on your personal preference and the image you want to portray.

A real name being used as a DJ name can make it easier for people to find you online, with the added benefit of being more personable. In contrast, using a pseudonym or a creative name as an alias can provoke more emotion and be much more memorable.


How hard is it to change my DJ name?

This will depend on how much exposure your original DJ name has.

Changing your DJ name may be challenging as you will need to rebrand yourself and build a new identity. You can also consider building an alias DJ name from scratch, and leaving your original name and branding out there.


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Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
As Visionary and Chief Editor of 122BPM, Thomas is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of music pioneers. With a degree in Music and 10 years industry experience, Thomas is now shaping 122BPM as the central hub for music and audio education.
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